Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the ‘Women Special Bus Service’ on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Friday.
The exclusive bus service or women has been launched by the State Government keeping the safety and security of women in mind. Two buses with seating capacity of 40 each have been provided by Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC).
The buses having female conductors will operate between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack twice everyday.
Though the officials wanted to recruit female drivers, they could not find any. “We plan to train some women as bus drivers and recruit them soon,” said Commerce and Transport Secretary G Mathivathanan.
The buses will leave Bhubaneswar at 8.15 am and Cuttack at 10.30 am. The same buses will return from Bhubaneswar at 2.15 pm and Cuttack at 4.30 pm. Ticket per trip will cost ` 22.
MP Prasanna Patasani, Commerce and Transport Minister Subrat Tarai, Women and Child Development Secretary Arti Ahuja, Chairman of State Commission for Women Lopamudra and Social Welfare Board Chairperson Nibedita Nayak were also present.
With the State Government introducing the buses exclusively for women, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to introduce similar buses in the city. “We will be procuring new buses for our existing city buses. We are planning to have one AC bus and a non-AC bus for women only,” said BMC Mayor AN Jena.